Kristina Rihanoff reveals she ‘starved’ herself on Strictly because she felt ‘inadequate and fat’ and shares her fears for her daughter, 7, who refused chips over worry about weight gain
Kristina Rihanoff has admitted she starved herself on Strictly as she felt ‘inadequate and fat’.
The professional dancer, 46. who starred on the BBC competition from 2008 until 2015, candidly spoke about her own battle with body image and her fears for her daughter, seven, as she grows up with the pressures of social media.
In a new interview on Thursday, Kristina spoke of how the show ‘triggers certain feelings’ as she ‘wasn’t good, mentally, physically or emotionally’ while taking part.
Kristina shares a daughter, Mila, with her fiancé Ben Cohen, and explained how the youngster refused to eat fries as she worried about gaining weight.
Speaking to The Sun’s Fabulous Magazine, she said: ‘As a mum, it’s a never-ending worry. There is so much on social media. She’s still too young to be on Instagram and I’m conscious about what she will be exposed to online. But she’s of a digital generation, so it’s inevitable.’
Awful: Kristina Rihanoff, 46, has admitted that she felt ‘inadequate and fat’ during her time on Strictly Come Dancing as she battled insecurities (pictured this week)
On screen: The dancer spoke of how the show ‘triggers certain feelings’ as she ‘wasn’t good, mentally, physically or emotionally’ while taking part (pictured with Jason Donovan in 2015)
Kristina explained how her daughters comment made her think about her time on Strictly when she ‘starved herself and would feel faint in training.’
She continued: ‘I watch it very rarely. It’s always with mixed emotions. I had many wonderful times there, but it does trigger those memories of how insecure I felt and it makes me so sad.
‘I felt so inadequate and fat. In my head I needed to lose weight and was always finding ways to have less calories. Looking back now, I feel so sad for myself.’
Former Rugby star Ben, 45, fell in love with the Russian dancer after they were partnered up on the 11th series of Strictly in 2013, despite Ben being married at the time.
Kristina quit the show in 2015 when she fell pregnant with Mila.
She told Hello! at the time: ‘It’s a bittersweet situation. I was on Strictly for eight years and I loved the dancing side of it, but I feel relieved because I wasn’t happy towards the end.
‘Strictly takes a toll on your life. It’s very intense and it’s worth it if you feel like you are fulfilling yourself as an artist … But I feel some of that creativity was being taken out of my hands.’
Earlier this year, Ben said his relationship with fiancée Kristina has been ‘strengthened’ by ‘difficult times in business’ ahead of their wedding.
Family: Kristina, who shares daughter, Mila, with her fiancé Ben Cohen, also shared her fears for her daughter, seven, as she grows up with the pressures of social media
The Strictly curse: Former Rugby star Ben fell in love with the Russian dancer after they were partnered up on the 11th series of Strictly in 2013, despite Ben being married at the time
He told Hello! Magazine: ‘Over the last nine years we’ve been through the wringer’.
‘To support each other through difficult times in business is the ultimate test in a relationship. I’ve watched her flourish, from her becoming a mum to growing as a businesswoman, and it has strengthened our bond.’
They told the magazine that they plan to make the big day a family affair with Mila and Ben’s twin daughter from a previous relationship, Harriette and Isabelle, 15, will as bridesmaids.
Kristina said: ‘Mila can’t wait, She’s already told me what she’s going to wear. ‘I want this kind of dress, Mummy, with a long train like you will have,’ she tells me. She certainly knows her own mind.’
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